Campus Life

Carleton in Their Own Words

To truly understand Carleton, talk to the people who know it best: our students.

We asked students to share their candid opinions about Carleton's student body, academics, campus life and more. Below is a cross-section of their uncensored comments.

Academics | Student Body | Campus Life | Choosing Carleton

Campus Life

  • There's such a variety of different pleasant smells here! When the wind blows from the Malt O'Meal factory and they're making chocolate cereal, the world smells delicious. Those are good days.Colin Hazlett '12
  • There is never a time when you would ever say "there's nothing to do on campus today!"Peter Schlesinger '12
  • Carleton has really helped me learn that being self-conscious is a waste of time. If you feel like being barefoot, or muddy, or dancing in a fountain, or cartwheeling down a hill, you should do it.Kelly Thomas '11
  • 'Be prepared' is my blanket advice. Be prepared to work harder than you did in high school, to think harder than you did in high school, to have more fun than you did in high school, to meet more unique people than you did in high school. Just try your hardest to be ready.Lingerr Senghor '11
  • The student body is very supportive. There's no competitive edge, and you will get very few odd looks if you're in the library working late into the night on a Friday - and you certainly won't be the only one! It's not hard to connect with a wide variety of people...that being said, you will certainly be happier once you find your niche. But your niche is out there! There are hard partiers and people whose idea of a fun Friday night is watching a British sci-fi show with good friends.Kate Madison '11
  • Carleton is about exploring and learning new things in a very organic way, meaning that, if allowed, new interests develop which can ultimately set someone down a very different path than they imagined.Ellen Esch '11
  • Of course there are many people who will go out and party on Friday and Saturday nights, but if that's not your thing, you WILL find other people with the same interests. People also won't judge you.Freshman
  • If you want to party, you can party. If you don't want to, you don't have to. There are tons of lectures, concerts, discussion groups, dances, and movies found all over campus...and many people are content just to curl up and watch a movie with friends! The only thing that is difficult is "dating" - not having relationships, but "dating," because it is so difficult to find time.Kate Madison '11
  • There is any type of social life you want here. Want a dance party? Want a Disney-Movie-Night? Want to geek out with some RPG's? It's all happening on campus. It's just hard trying to figure which you want to do most.Julia Leghorn ‘14
  • Campus life is all about having fun. Especially on the weekends, people have worked so hard every week that they just want to relax with friends and have a good time. The night life is very inclusive and varied so that everyone can have a chance to decompress on the weekend. The social scene is active- you can't walk around the library (or anywhere else) without running into several people you know, which in my opinion is one of the best parts about a small college; friends are everywhere.Katie France '12
  • For a very academic school, there are a LOT of things to do. Alcohol is very prevalent, but not unavoidable, and there are lots of sub-free events, too. Most campus events are free, too, which is fantastic!Chloe Meisner ‘11
  • One of my favorite parts about the social scene thus far is how much interaction there is between different class years. Unlike in high school where Seniors may have seen Freshman as lame, at Carleton the Seniors, Juniors, and Sophomores see Freshman as new people to meet and become friends with. Some of the first new phone numbers you are likely to put in your phone, in fact, are older students who are just as likely to invite you to a frisbee game on the Bald Spot as some of the Freshman you will meet. That being said, the social scene at Carleton is however you want to make it. Drinking at Carleton is very acceptable and is done by many students on weekends and also Wednesday nights. RA's tend to not care about drinking and students who are not on sub-free floors can easily have alcohol in there room. That being said, partying is only a small part of the weekend social life. Whether you want to go make cookies at the Dacie Moses House, watch a movie on the bald spot, or just play a board game in your room there are endless numbers of ways to have fun on both weekends and weeknights.John Carson '14
  • I am a three term athlete, so I only have one night a week when I can go out. I never feel pressured to drink on nights I choose not to, but when I do want to go out there is definitely something going on. Most people at Carleton know how to party on Saturday night, then buckle down again on Sunday for the week's homework.Kelly Lovett '11
  • You can essentially do anything you want at Carleton. If you want to party, there will be parties for you to go to. If you want to be in the library studying on a Saturday night, there will be people in there with you. If you want to play Ultimate every day for 4 years, you can do that too. You can do all of the above if you want to.Simon Johansen ‘14
  • You will do work on a Friday or Saturday night.Sarah Duane '11
  • The winter isn't really as bad as everyone says. It's the summer weather you want to avoid.Alexandra Price ‘13
  • The oak trees in between Olin and Boliou are the most beautiful trees you will ever see.Sophomore
  • Bring a gorilla suit to college! Whether it is Carleton or SMU, the gorilla suit is a must for weekends, pranks, and sometimes even the occasional class. Plus, if you have a popular name like mine, people can easily distinguish you as "Gorilla Josh" as opposed to "Normal Josh.Josh Carson ‘14
  • Being at Carleton is 100% more awesome than being a dinosaur. I don't care which dinosaur or how awesome it is.Rachel Porcher ‘13
  • The Silent Libe Dance Party ROCKS! The stretch of the Cannon River in the Arb is a hidden gem for tubing late in spring term and early fall! Professors have amazing networking skills and can often times help you find summer employment in an area you are really excited about.Ellen Esch '11
  • Carleton is very open. You can do almost anything you want. But just because you CAN do something does not mean you SHOULD do something.Simon Johansen ‘14
  • Not a huge party or jock school, but people still know how to have a good time.Carleton Sophomore
  • If you're looking for parties, there are definitely plenty of parties on the weekends. If you're not into parties, though, you won't feel out of place. There are plenty of people here to hang out with that don't party.Ben Picone '11
  • You're respected whether or not you choose to drink, and there are substance-free floors and an abundance of non-alcohol related activities every weekend!Jinai A. Bharucha '11
  • Everyone goes out on a Saturday night, even if it's not to drink--on Sunday nights, EVERYONE is in the library. Overall, Carleton students have the ability to find an equitable balance between school work and life.Claire Hill '11
  • Campus life is what you make it. There are tons of opportunities, from dances to frisbee to concerts. You just have to chose what you like, or don't like. And don't assume everything has to do with alcohol. I'm dry and I still have fun.Rose Hyson '11
  • Campus life at Carleton is just what I had hoped for. Socially, there is always something going on on the weekends, whether you are into parties, concerts, dances, or just hanging out, all of it happens. There are also many opportunities for recreation, from intramural ultimate frisbee to working out at the Rec center, taking a walk in the arb, or participating in an a-capella group, the opportunities are limitless, it seems.Anna Newman '11